` 30,608cr cost over­runs in state ir­ri­ga­tion projects: CAG

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Dhar­men­dra Jore dhar­men­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: The Comptrolle­r and Au­di­tor Gen­eral of In­dia (CAG) crit­i­cised the state government for cost over­runs of Rs30,608 crore in its 426 ir­ri­ga­tion projects and the sub­stan­dard work done by the de­part­ments con­cerned.

The CAG report for 2011-12, tabled in the leg­is­la­ture on the last day of the bud­get ses­sion on Thurs­day, re­vealed that some projects that were started more than 40 years ago — in 1967, 1976 and 1979 — are in­com­plete de­spite huge cost re­vi­sions.

The CAG has put ini­tial bud­get costs of projects un­der­taken by the water re­sources de­part­ment and statu­tory ir­ri­ga­tion boards (which came into ex­is­tence in 1995-96) to­gether till March 31, 2012, and men­tioned cu­mu­la­tive ac­tual ex­pen­di­ture on 426 projects.

In a scathing ob­ser­va­tion, the report said the re­cur­rence of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in projects, de­spite be­ing pointed out in ear­lier au­dits, in­di­cated that the de­part- ment was not se­ri­ous about ex­e­cut­ing and mon­i­tor­ing projects. The report comes at a time when the Congress-led government is fac­ing crit­i­cism for in­signif­i­cant growth in ir­ri­ga­tion sec­tor even af­ter spend­ing a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money over four decades.

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